Stay on top!
Starting university can involve: making new friends, learning a new timetable, finding your way around campus, joining societies and clubs, tasting the local nightlife and perhaps even living in a new city or country. However, it is very important to keep on top of university work. You may not have to reach a particularly high grade to pass your first year and this could make it tempting to cruise through with minimal effort (!) but its key to remember that:
A) STEM subjects in particular require you to build on previous knowledge- if you miss something key at the start of your degree it may be harder to learn new information in the coming months and years.
B) Employers often request a copy of your academic transcript, i.e. your grades for every single module and slacking off in the beginning doesn't demonstrate your passion and dedication.
Stay in the know!
Keep up to date with advancements in your field, is there a new development in technology that looks interesting? A controversial scientific project currently being debated? Get in the know and use this information in seminars, essays, exams and general chit chat with your peers. Backing yourself up with up to date information makes your work more relevant and can make your opinion more credible too. This does not just apply to your subject though, stay abreast with worldly goings on too to give you a more rounded world view.
Scanning over your list of modules, term timetable and exam season slots can be incredibly daunting and feel a million miles away from your time at Sixth Form or College. Don’t lose faith in yourself, you’ve done the work to earn your place at University and this wouldn’t have been possible unless the admissions team believed you’d be a good fit. Break down your workload into manageable chunks, talk through ideas with course friends whenever you can and don’t be afraid to head home to see old friends, enjoy home comforts and dig out your old notes and textbooks once in a while…!
Sophie Chadwick, STEM Women Executive